Goals & Objectives:
Generally, the goal of a wiki activity is to allow students to learn and
demonstrate that learning through the collaborative creation of some document
artifact. Some sample objective statements can include:
During and after active participation in the wiki activity, students will...
- understand concept x ,
- connect related concepts in field x,
- express new ideas in terms of already internalized concepts,
- identify misconceptions,
- relate various student views into a single document,
- work collaboratively with other students to better understand and succeed
at group process,
- synthesize a collective work into a cohesive document,
...as determined by successfully attending to 80% of rubric items.
Student need only to have the pre-existing knowledge set needed to explore
and create content on the given topic.
Materials and Resources:
The instructor needs to create a wiki space for the course.
The students need Internet access to the wiki space.
Guiding Questions for this Lesson:
The use of the wiki is more of a means to an end. The guiding question can
vary as the end varies. Examples of guiding quesitons might include: How
does concept x relate to concepts y and z? What do we already know about
concept x with relation to pre-existing cognitive structures? Can students
bring together diversity into a cohesive understanding of concept x?
Lesson Outline and Procedure:
- The instructor creates a wiki space for the students.
- Within that wiki space,
students collaboratively create content on a given topic.
- The completed project can be shared with a larger group, directly assessed
by the instructor, and often serves as a continual resource for the students.
- Make sure to provide clear instructions on wiki use. Include exactly
what a wiki is since it is still a relatively new technology.
- For the first wiki assignment, provide a little extra time as students
become used to working with the tool. Since most wikis use word processor
type interfaces though, the learning curve is minimal.
- The instructor can also contribute directly to the wiki. The instructor
can provide guiding questions within the wiki or even supply headings that
the students need to complete with information.
What accommodations may be needed for students with disabilities or other
special needs? This lesson requires few if any
accommodations. Most text to speech and speech to text programs can function,
however, the wiki software used should be verified for accessibility as appropriate.
The bandwidth requirements are also low.
The timeline will vary by the activity. Some wiki activities can be ongoing
throughout a term. Others may only take 15 minutes for students to add to
a collective document. A collaborative project within a wiki may take 2-10
hours to complete.
Ideas for Lesson Evaluation and Teacher Reflection:
How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should
ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities.
Also, the conversation that occurs during the activity will help guage how
the students are enjoying various aspects and whether they are learning and/or
How was student learning verified? Participation can be assessed in group
exercises or discussion session. A rubric can also be set up to help guage
the quality of any final concept map.
A good place to
start is Wikipedia's comparison at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software,
however, this list only includes wiki specific software. Many multi-purpose
programs also include wikis now such as Moodle. More than half of the wiki
applications are free as well. You just need a server to install them on.
- Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. Paper presented at
the ASCILITE Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary
Education 2004 Conference. Perth, WA.
- Educational wikis (2007). Retrieved January 17, 2007, from
- Farmer, J. (2004, June 10). The wide world of wiki: Choosing a wiki
for an element of a fully online undergraduate course, Incorporated
Subversion, Retrieved January 18, 2007, from http://radio.weblogs.com/0120501/2004/06/10.html
J. (2005) Internet encyclopaedias go head to head Nature, 438,
900-901 (15 Dec 2005). Peer Review: Comparison of errors in 50 Britannica and Wikipedia
- Lamb, B. (2004). Wide open spaces: Wikis, ready or not. Educause
Review, 39(5). pp. 36-48. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0452.asp
- Mader, S. (2007). A wiki-based book. Retrieved
January 18, 2007, from http://www.wikiineducation.com/display/ikiw/Home
- Mader, S. (2005). OpenSpectrum: A Wiki-based learning tool for Spectroscopy that anyone
can edit Paper presented at the Winter 2005 CONFCHEM: Trends and
New Ideas in Chemical Education - an online conference Jan-Feb 2005.
- Wiki's wild world Nature, 438, 890 (15 December
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